In an instant a life becomes a dash. On April 20, 2020, the hardest working man anyone knew passed away out in the shop where he loved to be. Ernest Elmer Hemp was born in Pine River, Minn., October 22, 1941 to Sylvester and Ellen (Rasmussen) Hemp. They later moved to Middle River where he grew up. While in high school he worked in the potato fields for Hvisten’s. He also played football and basketball, which he played like football because he always fouled out. He received his GED from Middle River High School. In January of 1959 he joined the Navy and got medically discharged (bad knees from playing football) in March of ’59. He was drafted into the Army on November 22, 1960. He married his true love, Carol Green, on December 31,1960 and they were stationed at Fort Irwin in Barstow, Calif. While there Sylvester (Buzzy) was born in ’61 and Florence was born in ’62. He was discharged in fall of ’62 and they moved back to Minnesota. Over the next 10 years dad worked various construction jobs, at Kelly’s service station and at a Star Iron. Carolyn joined the family in ’63 so there were four of them living in a small (8×25) trailer traveling from job to job. In 1973 they purchased a small farm near Greenbush where they milked cows until 2006 and grain farmed and did custom work until 2016. SueAnn came along in ’76. No matter where dad was mom was always working right beside him. Together they built one of the most beautiful and successful farms in the area. In 2015 the old race car he always talked about was returned to him on Christmas Day. It was a 1935 Coupe that he, Donnie Peterson, and Ray Magnusson “Wheels” use to race at Shorty Holton’s track near Thief River Falls. Together he and mom restored that car with the help of family and friends. Dad was able to do a few “hot laps” with it at the Greenbush Race Park when they got it all done. They also enjoyed taking it to local car shows and even won a few trophies. They also restored a couple old tractors and repainted many of the tractors they used on the farm all those years. He truly was a Chevy man and not afraid to let you know that Fords were a piece of POS, so how he ended up driving a Lincoln in the last years is a mystery to us. They also loved to travel and drove to every state except Hawaii as he could not figure out how to drive there. In 2014 they drove to Alaska and put on 8600 miles in less than 2 weeks. Not sure they even had time to stop and pee. They also enjoyed going to NASCAR races. Anyone who knew dad knew he loved to work, but he also liked to have fun. He was always waiting for just the “right time” to pull some “stuff” on anyone from family to friends with that “twinkle” in his eye. He was also a walking history book: remembering the year it was wet or dry or who lived where or what year he got each piece of machinery and what he paid for it. He loved to tell stories of all the places they had been, the things they had done and the people they had met along the way. As life slowed down the last few years he enjoyed going to watch Levi and Micah play sports and show cattle. He has passed on a strong work ethic and stubbornness to all of us which we also see in the grandkids and great grandkids.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carol, one son Sylvester Oscar “Buzzy” (wife Susan) Hemp of Roseau, three daughters Florence Ellen (husband Tim) Mundt of Utica, Minn., Carolyn Annette (husband Greg) Hoyer of Strathcona, SueAnn Marie (husband Earl) Wahl of Strathcona; 11 Grandchildren and 11 Great-grandchildren and 2 on the way; Sister Eleanor “Toots” Dahl of Middle River and one Sister in-law Eileen Hemp of Middle River; Brothers-in-law Orin (Joan) Green and Albin (Muriel) Green both of Greenbush.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Dean and Sylvester “Bud” Hemp and Carol’s parents and one infant brother-in-law.
A private family interment service was held at Riverside Cemetery and church services will be held at a later date to be announced.
Funeral arrangements are with Collins Funeral Home of Greenbush.